Foundational Elements

From: THE STORY TEMPLATE: CONQUER WRITER’S BLOCK USING THE UNIVERSAL STRUCTURE OF STORY
By Amy Deardon
Copyright 2011, All Rights Reserved

The book THE STORY TEMPLATE contains full explanation of terms and procedures described in these exercises.

The exercises on this page begin to explore the story pillars of STORY WORLD and MORAL.

Exercise 11: Story World
Describe the environment(s) in which your story will take place. Some ways to describe your story world include the time and date, social customs, languages, technology, buildings and structures, transportation, food and clothing, weather, and anything else you might think of. What do your characters think and feel about, and how do they respond to, this story world? When you’re finished free-writing, write a succinct paragraph or two describing your story world.

Exercise 12: Moral Primary Emotion
What is the primary emotion you might wish to use to drive your story? Write down several alternatives, then choose one to go with.

Exercise 13: Moral Refining the Primary Emotion
Think about the primary emotion driving your story. How can you focus it? Take some time to ponder, then write down your driving emotion in a succinct phrase.

Exercise 14: Moral Opposite of Primary Emotion
Take some time to determine how your primary emotion will be opposed. This should be a strong oppositional force that will demonstrate just how powerful is your primary emotion.

Exercise 15: Final Moral of the Story
Free-write to determine the moral of your story. Can you think of ways to deepen your moral, either through different characters taking different parts of an argument, or one or more characters realizing that the end result of the original moral is futile or at least partially negative? Take some time to free-write your ideas. At the end, write your story moral and contrasting morals if present in a single phrase each.

+This study of story pillars continues on Foundational Elements 2